European spatial development policy
One important objective of the European Union is to promote economic, social and territorial cohesion in Europe and solidarity among the EU member states (see Treaty on European Union ("Treaty of Lisbon"), Article 3). Especially the objective of promoting territorial cohesion is realised by the EU ministers responsible for spatial development and the European Commission with a joint European spatial development policy.
The latest political strategic document, the Territorial Agenda of the European Union 2020 (TA2020), was adopted by the EU ministers responsible for spatial planning and territorial development, the European Commission and other important European stakeholders on 19 May 2011 in Hungary. It is based on an analysis of the spatial conditions and development trends in the EU (presented in the document "The Territorial State and Perspective of the European Union 2020 - TSP2020"), in which the current challenges of a joint European development policy were formulated. The TA2020 represents a joint framework of action for supporting territorial cohesion and the objectives of the Europe 2020 strategy with cohesion and spatial development policy instruments.
Important previous documents were the European Spatial Development Perspective (ESDP, Potsdam 1999) and the Territorial Agenda of the European Union (TAEU, Leipzig 2007), both adopted under the German EU Council Presidency.
The Federal Institute for Research on Building, Urban Affairs and Spatial Development (BBSR) supports the Federal Government's European spatial development by participating in international preparatory working groups, formulating complementary analyses and documents and by running research projects on the topics of the Territorial Agenda. Transnational cooperation under Objective 3 of the EU Structural Funds (INTERREG B) and active participation in the European Observation Network for Territorial Development and Cohesion ESPON are of special importance for the implementation of the TA2020 (also see "Research Programmes").